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At The Heights: Harris closing in on rushing records

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  November 4, 2010 03:44 PM

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Boston College coach Frank Spaziani was talking about his running game this afternoon when someone pointed out a statistical anomaly. BC running back Montel Harris is leading the ACC rushing, but the latest stats had BC in 12th place in rushing, 12th in overall offense and scoring offense

"I don't care about statistics but someone mentioned that and I don't think I've ever heard that,' said Spaziani with a laugh.. "I don't know what that means. It is a remarkable tidbit to chuckle about.'''

Harris is 15th overall in the country, with an average of 104.6 yards per game. He is also tied for third in the country with 18 career 100 plus yard rushing games ,trailing only Vai Tau of Nevada (23) and Noel Devine of West Virginia (19).

The 5-foot-10 inch 200-pound junior's main role is to help bring BC back into the winning mode which will guarantee the Eagles' 12th consecutive bowl appearance. But win or lose, Harris is finally hitting his stride, with 116 yards and two TDs in a 24-21 loss to Maryland two weeks ago and 143 yards and 1 TD in a 16-10 win over Clemson last week.

But Harris is also engaged in another encounter. He is chasing--and catching--figures in the BC and Atlantic Coast Conference record books each week.
The latest: Harris is 80 yards away from rushing for more yards than any junior in ACC history. Harris has piled up 3,194 yards in his first 34 games, which puts him within reach of the ACC junior record set by former North Carolina running back Amos Lawrence who compiled 3,273 yards in his first 3 seasons in Chapel Hill.

Within the BC record books ,Harris is now fourth on the career rushing list, trailing only Troy Stratford (3,504 yards), Mike Cloud (3,597 yards) and Derrick Knight (3,725 yards).

With four remaining regular season games remaining, starting with Saturday's game at Wake Forest, Harris needs to average slightly more than 133 yards per game to break the record, which seems a very obtainable goal if the Eagles continue to play the way they have the past few weeks.
If Harris, who said at the start of the season that one of his goals was to set the all time BC rushing record by the end of this season, is on that pace, BC will probably be playing in a bowl game which would almost guarantee that he breaks the record this season.

***
BC injury list again was extensive.
On the offensive line right tackle Rich Lapham (knee) was out, right guard Thomas Claiborne (back) was listed as doubtful. Redshirt freshman Ian White will fill in for Claiborne while sophomore Emmett Cleary will again be the starting right tackle. Wide Receiver Billy Flutie (hamstring) is out. Defensive end Brad Newman (leg) is listed as probable and defensive back DeLeon Gause (knee) is also out.....Eagles practiced in driving rain this afternoon. which prompted plenty of moans and groans from the players. "Just like California,'' joked freshman QB Chase Rettig, who comes from the normally benign climates of Southern California.

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